TheBlaze has extensively covered the plight of Christians in Egypt and elsewhere across the Middle East and Maghreb as Islamists escalate their violence against who they consider infidels. The latest atrocity was uncovered Friday when Muslims set siege to the Bilal ibn Rabah Mosque in suburban Cairo, allegedly turning it into a torture chamber for Christians who had been protesting against the Muslim Brotherhood, Fox News reports.
As persecution of Egypt's Coptic Christian community mounts, both Christian and Muslim protesters claim they were taken from the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters, where they had been demonstrating, to a nearby mosque and tortured for hours by Brotherhood loyalists.
Officials at the mosque said militants stormed the building after Friday prayers and took control of the mosque. They said they deeply regret what happened to those detained inside.
“[We] deeply regret what has happened and apologize to the people of Moqattam,” mosque officials said in a statement, adding that “they had lost control over the mosque at the time."
The statement also “denounced and condemned the violence and involving mosques in political conflicts.”
One of those allegedly tortured, Coptic Christian Amir Ayad, explained what happened next.
“They accompanied me to one of the mosques in the area and I discovered the mosque was being used to imprison demonstrators and torture them,” Ayad told MidEast Christian News (MCN) from a hospital bed.
Ayad explained that he was beaten for hours with sticks before his brother, Ezzat Ayad, received an anonymous phone call in the early hours of Saturday informing him that his brother had been found near death and had been taken away in an ambulance.
“He underwent radiation treatment that proved that he suffered a fracture in the bottom of his skull, a fracture in his left arm, a bleeding in the right eye, and birdshot injuries,” Ezzat Ayad said in the report.
Shaul Gabbay, a professor of international studies at the University of Denver, believes that the Muslim Brotherhood will only escalate the violence.
“It will only get worse,” said Gabbay. “This has been a longstanding conflict, but now that the Muslim Brotherhood is in power, it is moving forward to implement its ideology – which is that Christians are supposed to become Muslims.
“There is no longer anything to hold them back,” he continued. “The floodgates are open.”
For Gabbay and others, Copts, who comprise approximately 10 percent of Egypt's population, are an easy target for Muslim Brotherhood loyalists, but are far from the only contingent critical of the hardline Islamist group.
“The less conservative elements of the Muslim society are increasingly uneasy with the Muslim Brotherhood. The Christian Copts are an easy target, but they are not alone in their mistrust of the Brotherhood.”
Corroborating the persecution of Christian communities in Egypt, prominent imam Sheikh Ahmed Saber, who also serves as an official in Egypt’s Ministry of Endowments, told MCN that, "all Egyptians in general are oppressed, but Christians are particularly oppressed, because they suffer double of what others suffer.”